This is the HERO3 camera comparison. For a HERO3+ camera comparison, check out this article.

 

 HERO3: White Edition HERO3: Silver Edition HERO3: Black Edition
Image Quality       
 Optics + Lens Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 - 6 element lens, Ultra wide angle with reduced distortionU Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 - 6 element aspherical lens, Ultra wide angle with reduced distortion Ultra-sharp ƒ/2.8 - 6 element aspherical glass lens, Ultra wide angle with reduced distortion
Lens Sharp Sharp 2x Sharper
 Low Light Performance  Consumer Grade  Prosumer Grade Professional Grade
 PHOTO FEATURES      
 Megapixels   5MP  11MP  12MP
 Modes
  • Single
  • 3 photos in 1 sec 
  • TimeLapse every 0.5, 1, 2, 10, 30, 60
  • Single
  • 10 photos in 1 sec 
  • TimeLapse every 0.5, 1, 2, 10, 30, 60
 
  • Single
  • 30 photos in 1 sec 
  • TimeLapse every 0.5, 1, 2, 10, 30, 60
VIDEO FEATURES + FOV 

 

   
 4K (16:9)  

  N/A

 N/A  
  • 15, 12.5 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode
 2.7K Cinema (17:9) 2.7K (16:9)  

  N/A

  N/A  
  • 30, 25, 24 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode
 1440p (4:3)  N/A   N/A  
  • 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode
1080p (16:9)   
  • 30, 25 fps
  • Medium FOV
  • 30, 25, 24 fps
  • Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV 
  • Protune Mode
 
  • 60, 50, 48, 30, 25, 24 fps
  • Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow FOV
  • Protune Mode
 960p (4:3)
  • 30, 25 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • 48, 30, 25 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode
 

  • 100, 48 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode (not avail. with 48 fps)
 720p (16:9)  
  • 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
 
  • 60, 50, 30, 25 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
  • Protune Mode
 
  • 120, 100, 60, 50 fps
  • Ultra Wide, Medium (only with 60 and 50 fps), Narrow FOV
  • Protune Mode
 WVGA (16:9)  
  • 60 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
 
  • 120
  • Ultra Wide FOV
 
  • 240 fps
  • Ultra Wide FOV
 PHOTO SPECS      
 Megapixels + FOV  5MP (Wide)  11MP (Wide), 8MP (Wide), 5MP (Medium)  12MP (Wide), 7MP (Wide + Medium), 5MP (Medium)
 Time Lapse Intervals  0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds  0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds  0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds 
 Burst Photo (Frames/sec)  3/1  3/1, 5/1, 10/1, 10/2  3/1, 5/1, 10/1, 10/2, 30/1, 30/2, 30/3
 Continuous Photo (Frames/sec)  N/A   N/A 3/1, 5/1, 10/1 
 ADVANCED FEATURES      
 Wi-Fi Built-in Yes  Yes Yes 
 Protune Mode No  Yes Yes
 Simultaneous Photo + Video N/A  N/A  Photo every: 5, 10, 30, 60 seconds; Manual
 White Balance Not compatible  Auto, 3000K, 5500K, 6500K, Cam Raw (with Protune) Auto, 3000K, 5500K, 6500K, Cam Raw (with Protune) 
 Looping Video  Yes  Yes  Yes
 High Video Bitrate Capture (H.264) 
Mode dependent, highest bitrates supported in Protune
Up to 15/Mbs Up to 35/Mbs   Up to 45/Mbs 
 AUDIO SPECS      
 Mono Mic, AAC compression w/ AGC  Yes  Yes  Yes 
 USABILITY      
LED Indicators 

4 Recording - Red / Wireless LED - Blue

 
4 Recording - Red / Wireless LED - Blue  4 Recording - Red / Wireless LED - Blue
Inputs Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter  Micro-HDMI Port, Composite A/V Adapter, USB, Micro SD, HERO Port, 3.5mm Stereo Mic Adapter 
Battery  1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion  1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
 Storage (Memory) MicroSD Class 4 or higher recommended; Up to 64GB capacity supported  MicroSD Class 4 or higher recommended; Up to 64GB capacity supported (Class 10 required for time- lapse photos @ 0.5 sec intervals in Protune mode)  MicroSD Class 10 or higher required; Up to 64GB capacity supported
 Average Record Time Recording times will vary based on resolution and frame rate settings  Recording times will vary based on resolution and frame rate settings  Recording times will vary based on resolution and frame rate settings
 Operating System MacOS®X 10.5 and later, Microsoft Windows® Vista, 7 and later MacOS®X 10.5 and later, Microsoft Windows® Vista, 7 and later  MacOS®X 10.5 and later, Microsoft Windows® Vista, 7 and later 
 WHAT'S INCLUDED      
 
  • HERO3: White Edition Camera
  • 197'/60m Waterproof Housing
  • Assorted Mounting Hardware
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Release Buckle
  • 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
  • HERO3: Silver Edition Camera
  • 197'/60m Waterproof Housing
  • Assorted Mounting Hardware
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Quick Release Buckle
  • Vertical Quick Release Buckle
  • 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm
  • 1 J-Hook Buckle
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm
  • HERO3:  Black Edition Camera
  • 197'/60m Waterproof Housing
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Wi-Fi Remote
  • Quick Release Buckle
  • Vertical Quick Release Buckle
  • 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount
  • 3-Way Pivot Arm
  • USB Charging Cable
HERO3: Black Edition / Surf contains 1 Surfboard Mount and Tether; 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount not included